How many miles can a GMC Terrain last? When you’re in the market for a new or second-hand Terrain, that’s, of course, a very reasonable question to ask. After all, you’re probably looking to get the most bang for your buck. In this blog, we’ll look at this question in great detail but first, let’s start with a quick answer:
On average, a GMC Terrain lasts between 200.000 – 220.000 miles. A Terrain needs to go to the garage for unscheduled repairs about 0.26 times per year, with a 17% chance of severe problems. Furthermore, Terrain owners spend an average of $558 per year on repair costs.
Having said that, we’re certainly not done. Below we’ll first explain in more detail how many miles a GMC Terrain can last. After that, we’ll also show you how much a Terrain costs per year and which production years are most and least expensive. Furthermore, we also discuss the common problems that the car can have. Read on!
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How Many Miles Can A GMC Terrain Last?
To answer this question, we have traveled to several terrains, made strenuous journeys to different sites, collected the data, and analyzed all of it to tell how many miles the Canadian/Mexican-made GMC Terrain will last. After scrutinizing all the data, we have found the highest mileage to be 255k.
In this compact SUV category, which has been recently adapted all over the automotive world, these SUVs haven’t had enough time to cross the 150k mile barrier, so that is why the 150k mile+ SUVs are at less than 3%, which we expected to see at the least. The highest mileage turns out to be 255k on average, which is not that bad at all.
|Amount Of Miles||Percentage Of Cars|
|Cars With 150.000+||2.48%|
|Cars With 100.000 – 149.000||10.80%|
|Cars With 45.000 – 99.999||29.77%|
|Cars With 0 – 44.999||56.97%|
You can expect them to last 250k miles, and they wouldn’t go to heaven before that. GMC Terrain is like a better version of the Chevy Equinox, and the early problems that the Equinox faced are no longer an issue in the Terrain. But the transmission issue has been prevalent in models before 2014 and a bit less prevalent afterward.
More than 50% of the GMC Terrains are still at less than 45k miles, and these are the ones that you should consider buying when you are searching for one in the used market. Buying a lower-priced high mileage one would mean that you would have to spend more on repairs, and you would have to face lots of headaches on top of that.
The first test is not enough to know if this SUV is legit, so we will subject it to our rigorous testings to make sure if this SUV is worth your money or not. We
We will be looking at how it performs against competitors, how much it will cost to maintain, and how much you would have to spend on repairs.
Also read: Types Of Gas A GMC Terrain Uses (All Generations)
How Reliable Is A GMC Terrain Compared To It’s Competitors?
GMC Terrain and Chevy Equinox share the same platform, so they are very similar in many ways, but the GMC Terrain is slightly better than the Chevy Equinox because it offers more luxury and comfort. The data analysis shows that Equinox could get more than 3%, which means that the GMC Terrain would have also made it only if it had more time.
Other models like Honda CRV and Toyota RAV-4 have performed much better in both the highest mileage and the percentage crossing the 150k mile mark. Fighting against Toyota and Honda in terms of reliability is not easy, and most competitors are bound to lose.
|Model||Sample Size||Cars With 150.000+ Miles||% Percentage Of Cars With 150.000+||Highest Mileage|
|Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross||426||4||0.94%||150000|
Most of the competitors on this list are relatively new, so the percentage crossing the 150k mile mark isn’t that much.
Do you want to know more about how this car compares to other vehicles regarding the expected miles it can last? Read more about that in this article: How Many Miles Can A Car Last? (156 Models Analyzed!)
How Reliable Is A GMC Terrain Compared To Other GMCs?
This data will tell us if we should trust the newer compact SUV model, viz the Terrain. When we went through the data and scrutinized all of it to see how the GMCs perform in general, and after receiving the facts, it is evident that GMCs are reliable. This data suggests that Terrain might be trustworthy as well.
But not so fast, we will subject the Terrain to more tests, and then we will give the final verdict. Because there are people who want to sell these SUVs before 45k miles, and if they are, in fact, good, then why is there a considerable percentage in between those fewer miles when the vehicles are supposed to be the best and wouldn’t pose any significant problem.
|Model||Sample Size||Cars With 150.000+ Miles||% Percentage Of Cars With 150.000+||Highest Mileage|
From our analysis, the facts suggest the best GMC SUV is none other than the Yukon, and the data has shown that there are some GMCs that can even cross 600k miles, which is crazy; they might have had spent a lot of dollars on repairs and maintenance, so let’s see how much you would have to pay on it to keep it well maintained.
How Much Does Maintenace Cost Per Year?
It is essential to look at the maintenance to have a clearer picture of how much you would spend on your GMC Terrain other than the buying cost. Our data suggests that you should steer clear from the earlier models; it’s a norm that the earlier production models are the worst because they would have many unresolved assembly issues.
|Model Year||Annual Maintenance Cost|
|2011||$609 + Repair$|
|2012||$575 + Repair$|
|2013||$515 + Repair$|
|2014||$512 + Repair$|
GMC Terrain is the cheapest GMC to maintain, while other GMCs have a much higher maintenance cost. $558 average is what you would have to spend on maintenance every year, which is the least amount any GMCs would offer. But when we add the repair costs due to common problems, the picture might be different.
Also read: The Complete Cost Of Maintaining A GMC
GMC Terrain Common Problems
You´ll also need to know about the common problems of a GMC Terrain if you´re in the market for one. Below, we´ll give a summary but click the previous link if you want to know all the ins and outs of the Terrain!
NOTE: Before buying a used car, I always like to make sure the vehicle isn´t having any problems that you should be aware of. The easiest way to do this is by buying an OBD2 scanner. These scanners can easily be plugged into any car you’re interested in, and they’ll give you a rundown of potential problems.
Personally, I like this one on Amazon because it has a lot more functions than basic OBD2 scanners. This particular one also runs tests on your emission system and tests if you’re fuel mix is optimal (or if your engine is misfiring), so you have a complete understanding of how the car’s performing.
Transmission Won’t Go In Reverse And Won’t Go Above 40 mph
This is a problem that ruined GM’s reputation. It not only happened with the GMC, but it also happened with the many of the Chevys and the Buicks that had the same transmission fitted in them. The transmission had a manufacturing fault which later on caused a lawsuit against the GM, and they had a recall, but because some replacements also had the same problem, all of the vehicles didn’t go back to normal.
It’s better to check the history of the one you are looking to buy and see if the transmission had any heating issue, any slipping, or a problem going reverse. This problem has been reported in models up to 2017. But the frequency of the reports is much higher in the models before 2014; It happens at 80,000 miles on average.
The Engine Noise
These GMCs would develop rattling noise down the line, and that rattle (most of the time) arises due to the timing chain problem, and if that issue isn’t resolved, your engine might blow up as the timing jump can cause your engine to seize and then pretty much your engine is done for.
The timing chain replacement will cost you about $800, so make sure if you are looking for one in the used market, it shouldn’t have any engine rattles.
This is a widespread issue in many of the GM owned brands viz Chevy, Buick, GMC, etc. they had a significant flaw in their engine design due to which oil leaked into the cylinders, and the blow-by had a lot of residual oil in it which reduced the oil level as a consequence.
You can fix the problem by changing the rings and pistons, but it wouldn’t solve the problem; it will come up again. This oil, if not replenished, can cause many further complications. So it’s advised to keep on adding oil at every 4000km so the oil levels wouldn’t drastically go down and cause damage.
Also read: The Oil Type, Weight, And Capacity Of A GMC Terrain
The Hard Plastic Bits
This hard plastic stuff is prone to damage, especially the bits located in the cargo area. Whenever you put stuff and take it out, these plastic bits get scratched, and you no longer have that nice expensive-looking SUV, which is expensive actually, and not to mention the costly repairs.
Is a GMC Terrain A Smart Buy?
With all the research and tests, and analysis, the GMC Terrain turns out to be not a good choice. It has some significant issues with the engine and transmission, which costs a fortune to repair. No wonder many people are selling their GMC Terrain.
The data on the highest mileage and the percentage crossing the 150k mile mark was also not promising. GM knew that they had this transmission problem with the Chevy Equinox, and it still put it in the GMC Terrain. And the engine problem hasn’t been resolved either.
The GMC Terrian depreciates about 47% in 5 years, which is good because usually, most vehicles lose more than 50% of their value in 5 years.
The data for the 2017 model and onwards is insufficient to decide whether or not buying those is an intelligent choice, but the reviews on those newer models are good overall. But we would suggest not to go for these GMC Terrains unless they are in the clear. They should redeem themselves before you make your decision to buy them.
If you are a GMC person and would want to buy them anyway, then you should look at the maintenance schedule that we have given. It would help keep your unreliable GMC Terrain reasonably reliable.
Are you in the market for this GMC? Don’t forget to check out our extensive list of the largest GMC dealers per state!
GMC Terrain Maintenance Schedule
For GMC Terrain to reach a higher mileage and perform to its best capabilities. If it is cared for and maintained wisely by keeping everything in check, it will go a long way before it goes to heaven. Below is the maintenance schedule that describes what should be done and at what mileage.
Before/On Every 5,000 Miles
Check the oil levels at every 5k interval to ensure it doesn’t go down too much; refill to the required level. These are known to drink a lot of oil, so you would have to keep on adding.
And on a side note, spending $2000 on new rings and pistons wouldn’t solve this issue which some mechanics would want you to pay. Please don’t listen to them; you would waste your money.
This is a known issue, especially in the earlier models. Models (2014 onwards) shouldn’t have this issue because they revised the design but guess what? This issue was still an issue even until the 2017 model. The only fix is to keep on feeding oil to this monster, or otherwise, it will eat up all of your budget.
Before/On Every 10,000 Miles
- Replace the oil filter.
Before/On Every 20,000 Miles
- Replace the passenger compartment air filter
- Inspect the tires
- See if there’s any prevailing rust
- Check for any fluid leaks
- Tire replacement
Before/On Every 40,000 Miles
- Replace the air intake filter
- Replace the transfer case fluid
- Inspect the evaporative control system
- Change the automatic transmission fluid
Before/On Every 60,000 Miles
- Inspect the spark plugs
- Inspect the ignition coils
- Have an engine diagnosis with a scanner tool and see for any abnormal reading.
- Inspect the electronics system
- Inspect the brake pads and rotors
- Drive belt replacement
- The manufacturers recommend changing the first coolant at 60k miles and the later ones after every 30k miles. It depends on different factors, you should check the color of the coolant to tell which one is it. If it’s the silicated one, you would have to change after every 30k miles and if it’s the extended drain coolant, then you can change it after 100k miles.
Before/On Every 100,000 Miles
- This is where the suspension components start to wear and you might have to replace the worn-out ones
- Inspect the transmission fluid and replace it if necessary.
- Service the radiator core
- Service the AC condenser
Other Maintenace Tips
Have your engine oil replaced before/on every 7500 miles to keep the engine healthier for a longer time. And add a can of high-quality petroleum in your gas tank to have the internals of your engine thoroughly cleaned; it’s inexpensive and would save you a lot of dollars on servicing the internals like the PCV later on.
To prevent your SUV from rust, make sure there is no area open to moisture/air; in other words, the paint is not chipped because that’s where the rust will happen. And make sure that you keep your SUV clean and don’t let mud stay on it for more than four days, because after four days, the reaction between moisture and iron happens that produces rust.
Hi! My name is Stefan; I’m the owner and lead writer at TheDriverAdviser.com.
I’m an active writer on this blog myself, as well as a novice car mechanic. For the really technical stuff, I find writers with experience as a mechanic or who have studied mechanical engineering.
Read more about our fantastic team on our about page!